So today, the monkey gets himself a set of real Dutch clogs, grabs a Heineken at an outdoor cafe, and relaxes after achieving his goal of more than 10,000 steps two days in a row. Now those steps have a bit of a story behind them. Kongo and Mrs. Kongo have been doing a lot of walking at their new home north of Los Angeles and they knew that on this trip it would be easy to get their miles in. So off they went this morning (after Mrs. Kongo slept in till after 9:30!) in search of a shopping mall they had passed the day before. Kongo was sure he knew where he was going based on his usually perfect sense of direction but today he must have been confused by something (maybe the beers from the day before) and leads Mrs. Kongo off in exactly the wrong direction. Mrs. Kongo complained that they were going the wrong way until Kongo started getting snarky but finally realized they were indeed heading perpendicular to where they needed to be going. Back tracking got the two simians totally lost but never fear, they just kept on until they spied some familiar landmarks and got back on track. Kudos to Mrs. Kongo.
The day before Kongo hooked up with his new BFF, Dr. Ron from Shreveport. It was the first time they met in person, having actually met online over a year ago when Ron was preparing for a Galapagos trip and queried Kongo about details of his blogs from that trip to the fabled isles. One Email led to the next and Ron contacts Betty, Kongo’s long time travel agent and the next thing you know he’s booked himself for the present trip! So the monkeys had a lovely dinner beside a canal last night with Ron and Chris. Ron is also an avid photographer and the monkey is looking forward to snapping his was down the Rhine with this new friend.
Above are historic row houses on one of the large canals in Amsterdam.
After a light meal of tapas and beer while waiting for the sun to go down, Kongo dragged Mrs. Kongo out for some night photography. The monkey found a good spot on a canal close to the hotel and went to work.
Amsterdam gets its name from the combination of two words: Amster and Dam. About a thousand years ago the industrious Dutch built themselves a dam over the Amstel River and starting carving out canals. The little village was known as Amstel Dam which over the years morphed into “Amsterdam.” Above is Dam Square on top of the site of the original dam. If you’ve ever seen the movie Help! I Shrunk the Family (A Dutch version of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids) you will recall a scene where a giant statue of Atlas holding up the earth comes alive and talks to the tiny family. Well, the Atlas and the 1000 Kg earth is actually on the other side of the building! Small world.
Tomorrow Kongo goes out into the country to chase Windmills.
Travel safe. Have fun!